Patients of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital???s (QEH) Ophthalmology department will now be able to have their vision disorders treated with technologically advanced artificial lenses, thanks to Lenstec Barbados Inc.???s, community outreach programme.

Minister of Industry, Donville Inniss, Chinese delegates including nine surgeons, toured the facility this morning along with members of the Barbados Manufacturers Association, Head of the QEH???s Ophthalmology department, Dr. Trevor Drakes; and President of Lenstec Barbados Inc., Ian Hinckling. The official observed the manufacturing and technical process at the 30,000 square-foot ultra-modern plant at Pilgrim Road, Christ Church.

Describing the need to give back to the community Mr. Hinckling said members of staff were keen to get more involved in outreach programmes and this was reflected in the company???s decision to donate two bus stops and 50 Softec HD intra ocular lenses; 50 lens visc. and 50 cataract pacts.

Meanwhile, Minister Inniss thanked the company on behalf of the Barbados Government for its ???generous donation??? and noted: ???that whereas others have been talking about our manufacturing sector being on its death bed, the reality about it is that Lenstec shines like a beacon.

???You have been able to quietly but steadfastly build an enterprise here that has reached international standards and in many respects is indeed a trail blazer???You really and truly are a company that all of us here in Barbados can be extremely proud of,??? he underscored.
He also credited Mr. Hinckling and his team for manufacturing a ???unique??? product that was servicing individuals around the world even as far as China and praised them for employing a high percentage of Barbadians.

???When you do your research in this industry there is no other company in the world that comes close to Lenstec??? To the Barbadians here in your lab coats you are really the ones that we are most proud of. You are ones that are not only creating a unique product but you are helping this country to earn valuable foreign exchange and thus ensure Barbados earns its rightful place on the world map when it comes to manufacturing high quality products in an affordable jurisdiction???and this is the direction that our manufacturing sector has to go,??? he said.

???We cannot compete with those mass produced items that you would find in Malaysia and those places but we have intelligent individuals here in Barbados, [who are] very competent and hard-working who can put their collective wisdom together with the latest in technology and produce a product that the world certainly needs. Locally, I am certainly happy that you can make this donation to the QEH??? Many Barbadians have challenges with their eyes and we endeavour to build a modern Ophthalmology department,??? the Minister stressed.

Mr. Inniss further pointed out that over the years government had invested heavily in the training of doctors in the field of Ophthalmology to the extent that all of the specialties in Ophthalmology were now available in Barbados at the QEH.

Lenstec Barbados Inc. established operations in Barbados in April 1996 and currently employs over 200 workers. Its headquarters is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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